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By on Mar 13, 2020 in Energy, News

The U.S. Energy Information Administration distributes information on energy-related trends and milestones. Here’s a sampling of recent postings from the EIA’s Today in Energy news and information resource.

Renewables on the rise

The EIA projects that electricity generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar will surpass nuclear and coal by 2021 and natural gas in 2045. Most of the growth in renewable electricity generation comes from wind and solar, which account for about half of renewable generation today.wind, solar and other non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources will be the fastest-growing sources of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years

These technologies will account for nearly 80% of the renewable total in 2050. New wind capacity is expected to continue at much lower levels after production tax credits expire in the early 2020s. Growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will continue for both utility-scale and small-scale applications through 2050 because of declining PV costs.

In April 2019, U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time.

Wind blows by hydro

In 2019, annual wind generation exceeded hydroelectric generation as the top renewable source of energy generation in the U.S. for the first time. Wind generation totaled 300 million megawatthours (MWh) in 2019, exceeding hydroelectric generation by 26 million MWh.

Energy consumption heats up

World energy consumption will grow nearly 50% by 2050, with the growth focused in regions where strong economic growth is driving demand, particularly Asia.

The industrial sector, including refining, mining, manufacturing, agriculture and construction, will account for more than half of end-use energy consumption through 2050, by which time global industrial energy consumption will reach about 315 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu).

Transportation energy consumption is slated to increase nearly 40% by 2050 and is largely driven by developing countries with non-market economies.

Energy consumed in the buildings sector, which includes residential and commercial structures, is expected to increase 65% between 2018 and 2050, from 91 quadrillion to 139 quadrillion Btu. Rising income, urbanization, and increased access to electricity will drive energy demand.

Natural gas growth continues

U.S. natural gas production grew by 9.8 billion cubic feet per day in 2019, a 10% increase from 2018. As natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports, both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), increased for the fifth consecutive year.

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